MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The NFL said Minneapolis executed one of the best public safety plans in Super Bowl history.
If you spent time downtown during the 10 days of Super Bowl events, you saw the massive security presence.
“They’re out here, they mean business. They’re going to make sure nothing’s going on,” Cathleen Chelminiak of Eden Prairie said.
More than 3,000 officers from 60 different agencies worked around the clock to pull off the most complex public safety plan in Super Bowl history. While many officers were visible, others worked behind the scenes.
“We had a number of plain clothes officers out that you didn’t see but they were out in venues outside of the hardened perimeter of the stadium outside of the hardened perimeter outside the Convention Center,” Minneapolis Police Commander Scott Gerlicher said.
Gerlicher said 800 officers were inside the perimeter surrounding U.S. Bank Stadium on game day. Snipers were on rooftops around the stadium.
“We did have the ability to spot and detect and prevent any hostile action that could have taken place,” Gerlicher said.
The FBI headed the Intelligence Operations Center and scoured local, national and international channels.
“I know they checked out a number of things but really there was no credible threat against the Super Bowl,” Gerlicher said.
He believes the biggest risk was to people walking around. And says the plan to keep people crossing Nicollet Mall safe worked flawlessly. There were no pedestrian accidents. People were pleased.
“I think they’re doing a great job with that,” Mary Hofland of River Falls, Wisconsin, said.
“I’m totally safe, totally safe, no problem at all,” another woman said.
Our frigid weather had also posed a threat. HCMC reported four cases of frost bite over the 10-day stretch.
Preliminary numbers show police arrested 75 people in downtown, less than the same time period last year.
A NFL spokesperson said, “While Nick Foles was the game’s MVP, law enforcement officials were the true behind-the-scenes Super Bowl MVPs and were prepared, collaborative and professionals.”
The public safety team now looks ahead to the next major event, the Final Four next April.